Depression Part Two

I remember being endlessly entertained by the adventures of my toys. Some days they died repeated, violent deaths, other days they traveled to space or discussed my swim lessons and how I absolutely should be allowed in the deep end of the pool, especially since I was such a talented doggy-paddler.


I didn't understand why it was fun for me, it just was.


But as I grew older, it became harder and harder to access that expansive imaginary space that made my toys fun. I remember looking at them and feeling sort of frustrated and confused that things weren't the same.


I played out all the same story lines that had been fun before, but the meaning had disappeared. Horse's Big Space Adventure transformed into holding a plastic horse in the air, hoping it would somehow be enjoyable for me. Prehistoric Crazy-Bus Death Ride was just smashing a toy bus full of dinosaurs into the wall while feeling sort of bored and unfulfilled.  I could no longer connect to my toys in a way that allowed me to participate in the experience.


Depression feels almost exactly like that, except about everything.

At first, though, the invulnerability that accompanied the detachment was exhilarating. At least as exhilarating as something can be without involving real emotions.


The beginning of my depression had been nothing but feelings, so the emotional deadening that followed was a welcome relief.  I had always wanted to not give a fuck about anything. I viewed feelings as a weakness — annoying obstacles on my quest for total power over myself. And I finally didn't have to feel them anymore.

But my experiences slowly flattened and blended together until it became obvious that there's a huge difference between not giving a fuck and not being able to give a fuck. Cognitively, you might know that different things are happening to you, but they don't feel very different.


Which leads to horrible, soul-decaying boredom.



I tried to get out more, but most fun activities just left me existentially confused or frustrated with my inability to enjoy them.


Months oozed by, and I gradually came to accept that maybe enjoyment was not a thing I got to feel anymore. I didn't want anyone to know, though. I was still sort of uncomfortable about how bored and detached I felt around other people, and I was still holding out hope that the whole thing would spontaneously work itself out. As long as I could manage to not alienate anyone, everything might be okay!

However, I could no longer rely on genuine emotion to generate facial expressions, and when you have to spend every social interaction consciously manipulating your face into shapes that are only approximately the right ones, alienating people is inevitable.


Everyone noticed.


It's weird for people who still have feelings to be around depressed people. They try to help you have feelings again so things can go back to normal, and it's frustrating for them when that doesn't happen. From their perspective, it seems like there has got to be some untapped source of happiness within you that you've simply lost track of, and if you could just see how beautiful things are...


At first, I'd try to explain that it's not really negativity or sadness anymore, it's more just this detached, meaningless fog where you can't feel anything about anything — even the things you love, even fun things — and you're horribly bored and lonely, but since you've lost your ability to connect with any of the things that would normally make you feel less bored and lonely, you're stuck in the boring, lonely, meaningless void without anything to distract you from how boring, lonely, and meaningless it is.


But people want to help. So they try harder to make you feel hopeful and positive about the situation. You explain it again, hoping they'll try a less hope-centric approach, but re-explaining your total inability to experience joy inevitably sounds kind of negative; like maybe you WANT to be depressed. The positivity starts coming out in a spray — a giant, desperate happiness sprinkler pointed directly at your face. And it keeps going like that until you're having this weird argument where you're trying to convince the person that you are far too hopeless for hope just so they'll give up on their optimism crusade and let you go back to feeling bored and lonely by yourself.


And that's the most frustrating thing about depression. It isn't always something you can fight back against with hope. It isn't even something — it's nothing. And you can't combat nothing. You can't fill it up. You can't cover it. It's just there, pulling the meaning out of everything. That being the case, all the hopeful, proactive solutions start to sound completely insane in contrast to the scope of the problem.

It would be like having a bunch of dead fish, but no one around you will acknowledge that the fish are dead. Instead, they offer to help you look for the fish or try to help you figure out why they disappeared.


The problem might not even have a solution. But you aren't necessarily looking for solutions. You're maybe just looking for someone to say "sorry about how dead your fish are" or "wow, those are super dead. I still like you, though."


I started spending more time alone.


Perhaps it was because I lacked the emotional depth necessary to panic, or maybe my predicament didn't feel dramatic enough to make me suspicious, but I somehow managed to convince myself that everything was still under my control right up until I noticed myself wishing that nothing loved me so I wouldn't feel obligated to keep existing.


It's a strange moment when you realize that you don't want to be alive anymore. If I had feelings, I'm sure I would have felt surprised. I have spent the vast majority of my life actively attempting to survive. Ever since my most distant single-celled ancestor squiggled into existence, there has been an unbroken chain of things that wanted to stick around.


Yet there I was, casually wishing that I could stop existing in the same way you'd want to leave an empty room or mute an unbearably repetitive noise.


That wasn't the worst part, though. The worst part was deciding to keep going.


When I say that deciding to not kill myself was the worst part, I should clarify that I don't mean it in a retrospective sense. From where I am now, it seems like a solid enough decision. But at the time, it felt like I had been dragging myself through the most miserable, endless wasteland, and — far in the distance — I had seen the promising glimmer of a slightly less miserable wasteland. And for just a moment, I thought maybe I'd be able to stop and rest. But as soon as I arrived at the border of the less miserable wasteland, I found out that I'd have to turn around and walk back the other way.


Soon afterward, I discovered that there's no tactful or comfortable way to inform other people that you might be suicidal. And there's definitely no way to ask for help casually.


I didn't want it to be a big deal. However, it's an alarming subject. Trying to be nonchalant about it just makes it weird for everyone.


I was also extremely ill-prepared for the position of comforting people. The things that seemed reassuring at the time weren't necessarily comforting for others.


I had so very few feelings, and everyone else had so many, and it felt like they were having all of them in front of me at once. I didn't really know what to do, so I agreed to see a doctor so that everyone would stop having all of their feelings at me.


The next few weeks were a haze of talking to relentlessly hopeful people about my feelings that didn't exist so I could be prescribed medication that might help me have them again.


And every direction was bullshit for a really long time, especially up. The absurdity of working so hard to continue doing something you don't like can be overwhelming. And the longer it takes to feel different, the more it starts to seem like everything might actually be hopeless bullshit.


My feelings did start to return eventually. But not all of them came back, and they didn't arrive symmetrically.

I had not been able to care for a very long time, and when I finally started being able to care about things again, I HATED them. But hatred is technically a feeling, and my brain latched onto it like a child learning a new word.


Hating everything made all the positivity and hope feel even more unpalatable. The syrupy, over-simplified optimism started to feel almost offensive.


Thankfully, I rediscovered crying just before I got sick of hating things.  I call this emotion "crying" and not "sadness" because that's all it really was. Just crying for the sake of crying. My brain had partially learned how to be sad again, but it took the feeling out for a joy ride before it had learned how to use the brakes or steer.


At some point during this phase, I was crying on the kitchen floor for no reason. As was common practice during bouts of floor-crying, I was staring straight ahead at nothing in particular and feeling sort of weird about myself. Then, through the film of tears and nothingness, I spotted a tiny, shriveled piece of corn under the refrigerator.


I don't claim to know why this happened, but when I saw the piece of corn, something snapped. And then that thing twisted through a few permutations of logic that I don't understand, and produced the most confusing bout of uncontrollable, debilitating laughter that I have ever experienced.


I had absolutely no idea what was going on.


My brain had apparently been storing every unfelt scrap of happiness from the last nineteen months, and it had impulsively decided to unleash all of it at once in what would appear to be an act of vengeance.


That piece of corn is the funniest thing I have ever seen, and I cannot explain to anyone why it's funny. I don't even know why. If someone ever asks me "what was the exact moment where things started to feel slightly less shitty?" instead of telling a nice, heartwarming story about the support of the people who loved and believed in me, I'm going to have to tell them about the piece of corn. And then I'm going to have to try to explain that no, really, it was funny. Because, see, the way the corn was sitting on the floor... it was so alone... and it was just sitting there! And no matter how I explain it, I'll get the same, confused look. So maybe I'll try to show them the piece of corn - to see if they get it. They won't. Things will get even weirder.


Anyway, I wanted to end this on a hopeful, positive note, but, seeing as how my sense of hope and positivity is still shrouded in a thick layer of feeling like hope and positivity are bullshit, I'll just say this: Nobody can guarantee that it's going to be okay, but — and I don't know if this will be comforting to anyone else — the possibility exists that there's a piece of corn on a floor somewhere that will make you just as confused about why you are laughing as you have ever been about why you are depressed. And even if everything still seems like hopeless bullshit, maybe it's just pointless bullshit or weird bullshit or possibly not even bullshit.


I don't know. 

But when you're concerned that the miserable, boring wasteland in front of you might stretch all the way into forever, not knowing feels strangely hope-like. 






5,000 comments:

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Anonymous said...

Can completely relate, thanks for updating us, stupid laughter is the best

Josh said...

As a psychologist and ex-depressed person, I can say that the way normal people treat depression is bullshit. It's really a bunch of chemicals and stuff and being all hopey-changey doesn't magically make the chemicals work again.

But I'm glad you're back to non-depressed mode! :D

Krista Cox said...

Yup. Nailed it. This is the most accurate, insightful description of depression I've ever seen.

Good to see you back, Allie.

praveer said...

damn.it's like i wrote this post..too much similarity

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I feel the exact same way and have had the exact same feelings about just not wanting to exist. I'm glad that I'm not alone.

I guess the best advice I can give when feeling this way is this; life is never a continual downward slope. There will always be bright spots here and there. Living for at least those bright spots, is more than what you'll get if you decide to end your life. So hang in there.

Keri said...

Allie, this is the most PERFECT explanation of true depression I have ever, EVER read. I hate to say I know personally every single thing you wrote here, but I do. If nothing else, know you have the brilliant capacity to articulate what SO MANY of us in your shoes cannot. You put words to the wordless. That carves the tiniest infinitessimal hole into that black void. There is immense value in that. When I experience this level of depressoin again and even my closest of friends cant understand, i am giving them this to read.

blueeyedtawni said...

Thank you for this....

I need this. "maybe everything isnt hopeless bullshit"
lots of hugs , I am glad your back

Anonymous said...

I laughed one night, and my daughter said "You're laughing!" I sorta looked at her funny, and she said "You haven't laughed in such a long time!" I guess I'd found my corn. Thank you for putting into words what I've never been able to. I'm glad you're back from that awful place.

Amber said...

You are wonderful.
you've done a great job of explaining depression. I wonder if someone who has never experienced it might understand it better after reading your post. I absolutely HEART the drawing of you looking all resentful at the happy, optimistic girls having fun. Glad you're feeling a little better. I just found you yesterday. I completely understand EVERYTHING, including the corn.

Valerie said...

I have often found myself wondering how you were doing over the last few weeks. I cannot tell you how glad seeing you post again has made me. You have rendered such a perfect interpretation of depression. Thank you. I have never been able to explain it as well as you did.

Carla Jean said...

I'm sorry that you've been experiencing this, but I'm glad to see that you're dealing with it (or at least, trying to deal with it--is there a difference?). I was diagnosed with depression last year (although I had been self diagnosing for about 14 years), and it was actually a liberating experience. I'm doing much better now, partly due to medication, but also because of taking control of my life again. (And in my case, yoga really HAS helped. Although it is absolutely possible to be depressed as hell during yoga.)

Anonymous said...

Brilliant post Allie; thank you for sharing.

Lorran Ross said...

THIS

Anonymous said...

You are amazing, this explains depression so well. Glad that you decided to get some help with it, and hopefully you'll be feeling even more feelings soon!

Simone said...

I'm really glad you wrote this. I've never experienced depression, but I feel like your posts really help me understand it. They should make this required reading for psychology students, haha.
I'm so glad you're feeling better. Sometimes I worry about death and the pointlessness of it all, but for me things always regain meaning in the morning. And if I ever fall into what you did, I think you've given me an important resource here to help guide me through it (or at least give hope that it can eventually pass). You're an inspiration. I hope you keep posting more things. You're my favourite internet blogger :)

Anonymous said...

Once again, you've managed to brilliantly encapsulate what depression is, you've done it more clearly than any of the dozens of doctors I've seen, and you did it with cartoons and humor. I really can't thank you enough. I want to describe how much it helps to read your posts, but I'm not as great with words as you are. I just wish I could help you as much as you help me, and I truly wish you nothing but the best. I hope we both find our way soon.

JP said...

Oh man, all of this (but most especially the parts where you have to comfort the other person while trying to get help and the suggestions about the dead fish). I wish I could've just handed out copies of this when it got really bad for me.

Also, I want that last drawing on a t-shirt so, so bad. And/or a large wall hanging.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this. I struggled with deep depression a few years ago that I'm still coming out of (I don't feel depressed anymore but things still feel all weird and foggy and I am still regaining back the emotions that vanished), and I wish I had been able to articulate myself this way at the time, especially to others trying to be optimistic--at times I was met with an offended and confused anger because I cared so little that I made it apparent that I didn't want to be around anyone.

I think I understand myself a bit better because of your post. Thank you for being brave enough to share it

Danielle said...

I'm so glad you're back,and can relate to this in every way. I'm still looking for my piece of corn, but reading this makes me feel like.maybe.I'll find it. Thanks. I'm so looking forward to reading you again!

confessionsofafatderbychic said...

This!!!!

Milky said...

Pretty accurate description of depression.

Anonymous said...

I just want to thank you for telling this story. I can relate to it very much. And I'm also glad to see you posting things again!

Anonymous said...

I've thought about you a lot (is that creepy?) over the past year or so since you last posted, hoping that you were okay (for a relative value of "okay" that means "not dead.")

Thank you for this post. It is one of the best representations of severe depression I've ever seen. I hope that things eventually get better for you.

And that corn story is hilarious.

Jennifer said...

Allie, I'm so pleased to see you writing/blogging again. I've always enjoyed your type of sense of humor and at times envy that I am not quite as eloquent as you are. Nonetheless, I'm glad SOMEONE has talked about what depression is really like. I've had my struggles with it, but mostly with my anxiety disorder. I got to the point that if ONE more person would ask me, "WHY are you anxious?" I'd throat punch them because not everything has a reason. I hope that the fog begins to clear up for you. All in its given time!

Chicagokell said...

SO glad you are back and feeling somewhat better. Love your sense of humor. Your drawings are the best! Take care.

Ashley Bee said...

I hope this means you're back. But if it's not, I'm glad corn is there for you.

<3 I've only dealt with minor depression, but that was enough to be supremely annoying and upsetting to me. I can't even imagine what you've been through.

I wish you much more tiny pieces of corn.

Jenn Bum said...

I hope you find more pieces of corn.

Anonymous said...

Yup. Been there before you and actually may have lost a piece of corn under your fridge...I know I left it somewhere. You can throw it away now....I don't need it anymore and you probably don't either. Love you and your magical talent and eye for detail forever!

Katy said...

I'm glad you're starting to feel like maybe everything isn't hopeless bullshit. Two thumbs up for dried up corn!

Carly Magnus said...

Thank you for sharing this! I can relate to all of this to the dot. Depression still lives me with to this day, but it's gotten a lot better in 6-7 years. I am still on meds, but I'm not in a shroud anymore. Also, my meds made me feel nothing after a while and then I got all my emotions back. That was a complete shock to my system and it was definitely something to get used to.

Liz said...

Thank you Allie! I am so glad you are back! Thank you for being so honest.
Your story is helping so many people, including me.

Anonymous said...

This is an amazing post. I have a friend who is struggling with depression and I feel helpless that I cannot help her. This has really helped me understand more of what she is going through that she could not communicate to me.

Gabi said...

Thank you so much for this. It's frustrating sometimes to hear depression stories where it seems like ~ah yes, hope~ lifts up, because I'm sure that happens to some people, but I can't connect at all. This piece is just really great and I'm cackling and crying all at once. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I totally get it. I was diagnosed with depression 3years ago. And it (at least for me) exactly what you described. Its actually scary comforting to know that someone else had those feelings and things happen to them.

It does get better. With the right medication anyway.

Take good care Allie and one day at a time.

Laura

robinkoontz said...

Thanks for sharing all your stories with us. I'm going to reserve your book now.

whimsymonkey said...

You are the secret super hero of my heart. You are my wee corn.

Anonymous said...

I think that actually, you are amazing. I don't know wht this says about me, but I get the corn thing.

Feisty said...

I. I understand this. So much. My moment when the Feels came back? Reading the last part of Harry Potter where he's DEAD, on a sunny day in the grass, and feeling so incredibly blissful because I was actually enjoying a book again. Depression is a motherfucker. Going through another bout now, so not about to tell you that it's all going to be sunshine and rainbows...but there's tons of floor corn, and it outweighs the nothing.

Leisabet said...

So hey, laughing and crying at the same time is weird. I could unload a bunch of Feelings here about how brilliant and meaningful and important and *really fucking apt* this post is, but I'll spare you - instead, I want you to know that the drawing of cartoon you's hate-filled face with the coffee is possibly the funniest thing I've ever seen.

It's awesome to hear from you. :)

Anonymous said...

I've lived this, Allie--over and over again. Every single moment of it. Except my laughter loop isn't about corn--it's usually about cats or something. Anyway, we love you here Allie--stay strong!

~Jane

Brandy Taylor said...

Never having met you, but reading your blog like someone's paying me to do so ever since I found out about the Alot... I've found myself worrying about you over the last months. I'm glad you've reached the "maybe everything isn't hopeless bullshit" point. Depression is a really scary, horrible thing. Hope you continue to feel better. :)

Andy said...

Allie -
Maybe your subconscious realized that you and the little piece of shriveled corn were both laying on the floor together, which gave you the first feeling of true togetherness and kinship you'd had for years. The relief of feeling that finally, and having that feeling be actually directed to a piece of corn, would certainly make anyone laugh uncontrollably!

So glad you're on your way out of the hole. You were very missed!

Anonymous said...

Many of us can relate to this so much - hope that helps somewhat. I GET why the corn is funny. It's just so ridiculous! Everything is ridiculous, but a piece of shriveled corn, that just encapsulates it. Hope you keep on keepin' on; we really love you.

Joni said...

What can I say that you haven't heard too many times before. I get it. Especially not existing anymore. Somehow we keep going and searching for something that will change it.

Calicoblonde said...

I'm glad you're back. It has to be horrifying to go through what you're going through...but you bring something good to me, to this world, and it's a better place for having you in it. Peace, love and hope for finding meaningful bullshit. Stick around, please. You are important.

Elaine said...

Best description of Depression EVER. Also: Corn is my new metaphor for the light in the tunnel. I'm finding a picture of corn and putting it on my monitor.

CORN RULES ALL THINGS.

Katie said...

I don't think there is a point to anything, but realizing that fact is the most liberating thing. And medication helps-at least for me. You are a wonderful writer and your posts make me feel less alone in all the meaninglessness; thank you for that. So glad you're back.

Krista Ford said...

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I can relate to this so much that reading it made me feel a little uncomfortable, especially the part about how pointless positivity can feel. So I'll just say I was very happy to see you had posted again, and that I hope you continue to feel better. And that you find something even funnier than corn!

Anonymous said...

This took so much strength to write and post and I (as well as so many others) am grateful for it. Keep fighting. (Hooray for the corn - I can understand its hilarity)

Osh said...

I'm sorry you had to walk through the endless, miserable shit desert. I'm glad you found corn.

Anonymous said...

I know exactly what you mean about losing the ability to play! And your drawing of the hating-things brain made me cackle out loud for about 5 minutes and scare the cat.

eric said...

Now I'm hungry for corn.

(great post!)

Anonymous said...

You are my wrinkled piece of corn. Keep writing.

Anonymous said...

PS. Can we have some more spaghatta naddle, please? PLease?

Anonymous said...

You're amazing. This is beautiful and hilarious and real and difficult and the fact that you can share your experiences through the lens of humor is incredible.

I really, really hope things go well for you. You've made me laugh a lot over the past couple of years (which have been kind of stressful for me, so). Good luck.

Dorsey Sprouls said...

This is one of your best posts. It helped me understand a lot about depression. Phenomenal :)

Ariel Fraley said...

This made me cry and then laugh and then cry and laugh again. Allie, you are my piece of corn. <3

DarkSide said...

Oh my sweet! You have nailed it. I went through this shit, too and emerged from it a really interesting girl. Weird as fuck, cynical as hell, funny and genuine. it's like a trial by fire. You'll be fine and it sort of snowballs from here on, so get ready.

davelog said...

Welcome back, Allie. No pressure, but you've been missed dearly. I hope it all comes together for you.

Samantha Justine Zamora said...

yeah.... this is very fitting, as I feel a little bit depressed right now. Maybe it's a different sort of depression from what you are feeling, but thanks for sharing this.

Ami B. said...

Thank you for sharing this with us... It was beautiful and so near to what I'm experiencing. Thank you for putting it into real words and pictures.

Madame Awesomepants said...

I'm pretty sure you just wrote my life story except mine didn't have cornn in it. Well, corn is in my life story in many places, but never a single piece of shriveled corn found under the fridge.

I'm happy you wrote this because I can share it with the people who have to deal with me being like this.

And for the record it makes me feel way less alone to hear someone else say they didn't want to kill themselves, but didn't want to exist anymore.

Ashley Joy said...

The only words I seem to have are thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for making me cry and laugh within the space of one blogpost. Glad to see you back :)

Chuby said...

There's a corner of my brain that is bawling. I can feel it even if my eyes aren't actually producing tears. It's a start.

Kelly Hilden said...

Super full of happy feels that you are back! I'm also hoping your return will be more than just this post :]

Shauna said...

So wonderful to see you today! Best wishes to you and keep fighting!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you. This is the best thing and I was not uncomfortable through any of it because I have 100% been there. So glad you're back even if it's just this one post. This is just as good as your last one about depression--it's just perfect.

Mandi Jane said...

i am going to use many of your examples when I'm trying to explain to people in what ways they are NOT being helpful. I'm glad you posted again :)
Go corn!

Go Jules Go said...

This was completely amazing.

Jasmine said...

I want to hug you.

cat said...

Really glad to see you back.

Anonymous said...

As someone intimately familiar with the emotion of crying (why are my eyes leaking? There's nothing wrong!), thank you for this post. I can't imagine how hard it must have been to write, but I'm glad you did. I hope you find many more kernels of corn as you continue on your path.

AdinaVerbena said...

I'm so glad you're here and thankful for funny corn!

Ellen said...

Oh, Allie, I know how you feel. I'm at the point of I don't care about anything anymore. And I would be all like, it gets better, but that's crap. Sometimes it gets better for awhile. And then you get lost again. I've had to consider Shock Therapy at this point. Restless Heart Syndrome by Green Day is my depression song. It pretty much describes everything perfectly.

This is rather a depressing comment. Here's a couple things that helped me that may or may not helped you:

1. Having a pet. Pretend that if you are not there for it, no one will be. That sounds horrible, but it gave me something to say, I have to be here for this. Pets are also really good at picking up when you are upset. My cat used to sit on my face when I cried. I don't know why, but I think he wanted to help.

2. Outside. You may hate the very thought of happy chirpy birds, but after awhile they can make you smile. Sunshine really does help, which sounds corny, but that vitamin D is crazy.

3. Music. You may hate music as I did at some points, but the more you listen the more you can relate to it. Listening to depressing music actually makes me happy (but I don't recommend it just in case it makes things worse). Even classical can help.

Those are only a few things. Hang in there. Find a friend or family member who likes to talk (AND HAS INTERESTING STORIES. NOT MUNDANE STUFF) and call them at least once a week. Sometimes having someone to talk to helps, even if you don't tell them anything. Just hang in there. And remember that pretty much everyone loves you.

Ellen, aka sapphireduck

whatrhymeswithsarah said...

YAAAAY you're back and everything is wonderful again!

Was that super-insensitive because of the content of your post?

I also write things about depression on my blog. Read them (unless they start making you more depressed, in which case stop reading them).

Zhen Derful said...

Thank you for writing everything I feel. It's emotional to read, but makes me feel better knowing it's not just me. <3 I am glad you are starting to feel better

kendiefox said...

I laughed because it's true. I've been there.

I'm happy you're still around and I hope you continue to find your feelings.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful, Allie! Thanks so much for sharing, and welcome back. This was really enlightening to me, as I've never dealt with depression. <3 It does sound terrible, and I'm glad you finally found that piece of corn. :)

Erin Cramer said...

So very glad to read that things are looking up for you. Having been down the road you describe so well, I commend you for finding your way back. Here's hoping we all find our pieces of corn...and find them often!

Morgan said...

So very happy you are blogging again!

Anonymous said...

I think this is the best summing-up of depression I've found yet. For the longest time I experienced prolonged bouts of feeling/nonfeeling like you describe here but never had it categorized as "depression". Everyone kept telling me I wasn't depressed. My family doctor told me I had "severe PMS", while at the same time failing to account for the fact that this "PMS" started and continued through several months. I'm very glad you posted this, because I can point at it and tell my family "See? THIS is what I've been unable to explain to you". So thank you for this.

And of course, I'm thrilled to see that you're posting again, whether it's a once-in-a-blue-moon thing or...anything, really. I'm glad that you've found the place where "maybe not everything is bullshit" and I hope that you only continue to feel, and feel better. All the best.

whimsymonkey said...

You are the secret super hero of my heart. You are my wee corn.

Boris Milanović said...

stay strong allie, you're an inspiration!

Lianne said...

This is the most accurate representation of depression I've ever seen, and I know that corn feel. Seriously, the part about explaining to others that you don't want to kill yourself, you just want to not be alive anymore...So damn real. I'm glad you're feeling feels again. Welcome back and thanks for sharing your corn. :)

Meredith said...

That is exactly what depression feels like. Fuck it in the eye.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you are still fighting! Do whatever is best for you. I'm glad you are on your way to recovery. :)

Anonymous said...

I need a corn. So glad you're posting again!!

Anonymous said...

Clearly nothing I can say will help but

that was awesome.

Thank you

Anonymous said...

I actually get that you were laughing at corn. I'm glad to hear things are starting to restart. Be patient with yourself. Some day you may find yourself wanting to make pancakes from scratch. That was my ah hah I'm getting back to normal moment.

Olwen said...

Thank you for sharing this :) I've been missing your posts, but I completely understand... Maybe this will help my friends understand, too. <3 Don't forget your own advice.

Brian R. Christensen said...

Allie, I'm so sorry no one understood for so long. I'm very glad laughter has happened for you again, because you've caused a great deal of laughter for me. I really hope there will be more than just hopeless bullshit ahead.

Mostly, I love your art. You have such a unique ability to explain things through these cartoons. Please keep it up!

Anonymous said...

This is one of the most accurate descriptions of depression that I've seen in my entire life, and definitely the most relatable. I hope things progress for you from here on out, and good luck getting back into the swing of things!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. I know the feels. Too well. Good luck on your own journey.

Wendy said...

Err, have you tried NOT laughing yourself to death at a piece of corn?

Sorry, I guess you were pretty explicit that that's not useful advice :-P

Anyway, glad you're back and ready to face the Internets, and I look forward to reading more from you when you're ready.

Jill said...

Welcome back!

Cheryl said...

I remember feeling this way. Just wanted to go to sleep and not wake up. My doctor prescribed Prozac for weight loss and inadvertently saved my life. I could feel myself lifting out of the well of darkness after about a month on the drugs. Took two years on drugs to finally go off them and not relapse.

Hope you find your way out too.

kaberett said...

OH ALLIE.

Allie. We - someone announced on IRC that this was a thing, that this existed, that you existed.

There are three of us in this room right now. We all have chronic depression, we've all been chronically suicidal.

We just spent about 15 minutes scrolling through this post and laughing and crying and laughing some more, and we agree that the corn is the funniest thing ever.

We are so glad that you still exist, and so glad that you found that piece of corn. ♥ Thank you, thank you, thank you. Now I am going to weep some more about being understood.

Brandi said...

I can relate to you as well, although I have never been that deep into depression it overtakes me at times. I really hope you continue to feel better and better each day and that you know that you have so many people you've never met that care about you!

Me said...

YOU'RE WONDERFUL!!!!

Mary said...

Thank you. You may just be my piece of corn this morning.

Ale Alonso said...

Aww, Allie, I'm so glad your better now, I missed you and your posts, and every now and then I used to check your blog to see if there was anything new. I'd mail you a whole bunch of corn, if it'd keep you happy. xx

883b8df6-b8bb-11e2-8aa3-000bcdcb2996 said...

I'm glad you found your corn kernel. here's hoping you continue finding corn on your journey thru the wasteland that may not be hopeless.
thank you for all you've brought us and for reconnecting to us on your journey. shit. everyone loves travel blogs. ;)

as a fellow non feeler I totally understood and related to this post. I haven't been on your path but I can see it closer than I'd like. so we all keep trudging on, looking for our corn.

take care and hugs

Anonymous said...

Holy crapballs yes. This. totally this.

Thank you. I heart you. Thanks for finding your piece of corn, and thanks for writing about it so you-ish-ly.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for being so brave and posting this. I have felt similar feelings, where I felt like I would have no ground to stand on, and just keep falling. It always seems to be weird, little revelations that pull people out of these things. I hope everything continues to improve. As you can see, you have several thousand people behind you.

Schmutzie said...

Yup :)

Anonymous said...

This is brilliant!
It is amazing how well you can put an experience of depression into words and pictures. It really resonates with me, after an episode I had! Lots of similarities.

You are so talented & funny, so glad you're back!

P ooter said...

Welcome back! Missed you!

Jamie Hicks said...

The world is most definitely meaningless, but I guess we just learn to enjoy its absurdity. That's how we survive.

You're strong and brave, and I'm glad you're still here, even if things aren't the same.

aliasha said...

1) YAY!! YOU'RE ALIVE AND BACK AND THINGS!!
2) I just want to sit on a couch and have coffee or tea with you. We don't have to talk, but you can if you want to. I can even give you a hug if you want. I've been there, still go from time to time, and it's a flinchy and uncomfortable place.
3) Taking your depression and making it something you understand- like a comic (or in my case writing)- really does help. Remember that.

Sarah said...

First, I want to say that it's great to have you back, and I'm so happy that things are starting to feel slightly less shitty.

Both your posts about depression are the best descriptions I've ever read. Seriously, I've never read something that captured what I went through SO exactly -- esp. the "It's not that I want to kill myself, more that I just want to become dead somehow" line. Brilliant! (now it feels weird to say brilliant about such a sad and scary subject, but it is).

I hope that things continue to get better for you, and that one day hope and positivity seem like less bullshit (It worked for me, but it does take awhile!). Thoughts are with you.

Jessika said...

Thank you for sharing this... I flinched and laughed hard and felt uncomfortable and felt hope. You summed it up beautifully and I'm glad you found your piece of corn. :)

Anonymous said...

YES

P ooter said...

Welcome back! Missed you!

Anonymous said...

Your blog makes me feel less lonely. Thanks for keeping perspective and for keeping going.

Anonymous said...

The whole "It's not that that I want to kill myself, it's just that I want to not be alive so I don't have to continue this suffering"... is a tough message to get across.

Well done. And welcome back.

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for writing this! I laughed, I sighed, I (almost) cried. It's strange...just the other day I was reading old posts, hoping you were doing OK, then hours later...you posted a new blog letting the world know a NEW blog would be on its way. Wishing you all the best in your journey.

abi's mom said...

I was just thinking about you the other day, missing your posts. Thank you for this one. It's the best description of how I felt a year and a half after my son was born. Just wanting to cease to exist. I get that. Thank you so much for your candidness and honesty. I wish you lots of strength in starting to feel again.

wendy said...

amazing, amazing, amazing....so beautifully explained...thank you for helping me understand. Keep fighting....so glad you are coming back from a very dark place.

Anonymous said...

My piece of corn was a salt shaker in the dining hall in college.

mamaduckers said...

Thank you for having the courage to 1) not kill yourself, because that was incredible brave, and 2) sharing your journy with us. Depression is scary, and, as another of my favorite bloggers says, "Depression lies".
I hope you can find your way out of this. We love you, and we're glad you're back (for as long as you are)

Jennifer said...

This was sad, hilarious, and epic. Very happy to hear from you, because it means you sidestepped that hopeless bullshit monster for awhile.

Anonymous said...

It's great to have you back! Wishing you many new emotions, even the not so pleasant ones.

Milady DeWinter said...

You're amazing, Allie. A lot of us have been through this same shit, and never had the guts to share any of it.
I'm so happy you found your piece of corn.
xoxo

Esther said...

How did you get into my brain and put my exact feelings onto this blog? Except the corn. I don't know where the corn came into play. This is amazing. So glad you're back.

Anonymous said...

that's about the best thing i've ever read/seen. i've never had anyone so accurately describe what i've felt - especially how you describe the suicidal feelings. i don't want to actively kill myself. . . i just want to cease to exist. wow. thanks for this! and glad you are back!

Anonymous said...

Welcome back! Merry corn.

Anonymous said...

Weirdly and beautifully eloquent.

Deena Hergert said...

Thank you for sharing all this. I've never experienced anything like it and I hope I never will. You are clearly a strong person. I hope that writing about everything will help you somehow. Your readers are very happy to have you back and hope that you continue to feel better.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing! Laughed so hard at the corn part!

Anonymous said...

Yes, this is it EXACTLY. I have also been to that place where it's raining all the time in my head. I hope you continue to claw your way out of Bullshitville with the help of corn!

Anonymous said...

You have described it all so perfectly, and I am crazy glad you have managed to hang on. :)

meridith said...

HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY - you're BACK! And if you're not totally back, that's cool too. Feel better.

On behalf of the whole entire internets, WE MISSED YOU!

Anonymous said...

Very powerful post. I'll never look at a shrivelled piece of corn without thinking of you :).

Marissa said...

Allie,

I've struggled through a lot of this myself, and reading it through your experience has helped me understand some of it better. I wish this wasn't happening to you, but I'm glad you can share it and someone like me can find solace in it. I'm glad you're still here doing this.

Sophie Greatwich said...

Allie,

I kinda actually love you. I have missed you posting, and even I secretly googled your name, hoping that maybe I was stupid and was looking in the wrong place. I was sad.

I'm glad to see you back. I have struggled with depression my whole life. I have a stupid chemical imbalance that makes everything seem shitty even when life is fantastical. Soo I know what you mean. I know what you mean about the corn too.

I don't want to give all the mushy crappy crap that people do. So I will just say this.. I think you are awesome. All the people I know, that I have shown your blog too, think you are awesome.

Jake - but not the one said...

I am glad you are back.

I have been waiting for this post for what feels like forever.

I hope you stay back.

{{{{Allie}}}}

MommaGuppy said...

Thank you. Started crying halfway through, didn't stop, but did start laughing at the corn. Been there, too. It wasn't corn, but it was something small like that too.

I haven't been able to put this into words that someone else who hasn't been through this would understand. Thank you for this.

Bottle Green said...

Your posts are still the best explanation of depression I have even seen. I've never been able to explain it to my family as well. I just read your posts and am like "YES." Really, thank you so much.

Bunnitos said...

Thank you so much for this. I laughed at your corn.

Kari said...

This is such an amazing explanation of depression. And so true! I'm glad things are looking up. Honestly, it helped knowing someone else felt this way....

Jude said...

I am sitting in an airport lounge, laughing out loud at the small piece of corn. THANK YOU for putting into words (and pictures) all the feelings I've ever had. :)

Erin Cook said...

Hey Allie, I'm sorry about how dead your fish were. Thanks for being. Welcome back.

Three said...

I thought I was alone. This has helped me find words and now pictures to explain to people the difference between wanting to kill myself and just not existing anymore. I can't say you'll feel better since god knows there are days when I don't but it becomes manageable probably sort of. I wish you luck. I hope to find my corn. But in the mean time I found rugby and the best group of women ever, that seems to work for now.

I'm glad you're back.

Anonymous said...

Allie.... ahhhhhh. That's all. Thanks for making words and pictures happen. I hope that everything isn't meaningless bullshit for you for much longer/ever again!

Anonymous said...

Allie, I'm so very glad you put this post together, and that you're now in a place where you COULD put it together. Clinical depression got me in middle school, and it took a long time and a lot of meds and therapy before I felt okay again.

I want to leave you some kind of hopeful 'you can do it!' comment, but I know how inane they feel to receive. So instead I'll just send you one million Internet Hugs and hope that you can enjoy the thought.

VIVA LA CORN

Nastassia Bushey said...

Welcome back to the world :)

lola said...

Yes. Yes to this post, your words, your images, and you. Yes to that lonely, awesome piece of corn. And I wanna punch the yoga-sunshine lady so bad. That is exactly why I sometimes cannot say anything to anyone about when I am feeling shittier than shit on shit. I can't face the yoga-sunshine people. If I wanted yoga-sunshine, I would fucking find it and do it myself.

Thanks, Allie Brosh, for being here and putting into words what a whole bunch of us have felt, or do feel.

Ainsley said...

CORRNNNNN!!!!!

Octavius Orgasm said...

The Internet got a lot brighter now that you're back, Allie.

David Petersen said...

I don't know anything about depression, so I found your post enlightening in a slightly humorous way. Thanks for the insight.

Is corn still funny to you or was it just that one piece at that one moment of time?

Jenny said...

Back when I was suffering from depression I was also experiencing these weird emotionless phases where I'd reached a point that all the emotion had been sucked dry. I'd stopped caring basically.
It was time that healed me the most and I found someone I could turn to who loved me for who I was. Then I got more confident and became a happy I-have-meaning-to-my-life person.
I don't want to advise you that it gets better because you've probably heard it from a lot of people. But we do all care about you and we want you to get better. :) <3

HelenB said...

Glad your back and feeling some what better :) or at least feeling again! that last picture is the best imo :)

Burns the Fire said...

I totally get that the corn made you laugh and touched your soul so deeply. The fact that you are telling us this story is hopeful. Thanks for the inspiration and education. Love to you, Allie.

Laura said...

I love you, Allie. Please find more corn.

Devan said...

Thank you for posting this. It's such a relief and so comforting to know that someone else understands this.

Chaos said...

Hey, Allie. Glad to see you post stuff again. We missed you. Sorry you lost your emotions. Good luck finding them. :)

sahar said...

I've been there (the emptiness, the wishing no one paid attention to you so you could just not have to pretend to be a normal person, the what my shrink calls "passive thoughts of death," which is a lovely Elisabeth Kubler-Ross-esque phrase), and things get better... and they get shitty again... and then they get better.

We all have different experiences. I can't say for sure that things will only stay good for you, but I hope they will.

Your writing and drawings are MY shriveled up piece of corn. Sometimes when I'm feeling really empty, I've reread your old posts just to see a glimmer of happiness ahead.

Without even knowing it, you've helped pull me out of depression many times. Whether it's a piece of corn, medication or people, I hope you find something to pull you out if this ever happens to you again.

Thank you so much for coming back, and for everything.

Anonymous said...

Your post was my little piece of corn. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

:)

It's fantastic that you wrote about your feelings, and the drawings really touched me. It's very brave that you went to a docter and got back online again; super. Go Allie!

Anonymous said...

I love youu :)

jwtroemner said...

I have heard an accurate explanation of depression (as I felt it, anyway) exactly twice. The first time was a video in psych class, where the subject tried explaining "I don't feel anything, and I realized that the only way this was possible was if I was inherently evil, therefore I needed to die."

This is the second.

I don't know if therapy and medication did help you-- I know they didn't do much for me, but it was at least an effort to fix things.

I'm glad you found your corn. My corn came to me in the form of writing-- because it was so much easier to pretend to be somebody else, feeling their fake emotions. And yes, most of that was anger and grief, but it was something. And that was so incredibly important. It still is.

Thank you so much for posting this.

Anonymous said...

I remember that phase of unexpected crying. I remember stirring a pot of boiling pasta and bursting into tears.

Welcome back, honey. We love you and are proud of you.

Katie said...

I don't think there is a point to anything, but realizing that fact is the most liberating thing. And medication helps-at least for me. You are a wonderful writer and your posts make me feel less alone in all the meaninglessness; thank you for that. So glad you're back.

Anonymous said...

I laughed AND cried. So glad you have turned around from the barbed wire fence.

lisa said...

welcome back allie. you have been missed. and as a person who also suffers from (is afflicted with?) horrible recurrent debilitating depression, i totally get it. and i appreciate your willingness to share your journey with us. nothing but love to you!!!

-lisa

Anonymous said...

Having had moderate depression myself and having watched my best friend wade through her severe and often suicidal depression, THANK YOU for writing this. Really. And freaking go you for deciding to keep going. You are brave and amazing.

ImTheMarigold said...

OH TEH HAPPINESS! You were so missed! I have and continue to walk through that wasteland. But we'll make it. I know it.

Anonymous said...

I have just gone through something very very similar - and this is the best description of depression and recovery I have read to date. I know this sounds stupid but - it gets better, even if it's just the medication, shit starts to feel better. Glad you're posting again.

Cathy said...

The piece of corn had me in hysterics. I had a very similar experience crying in bed. I didn't notice anything in particular but it was hilarious. It was the single funniest thing to have ever happened to me. My housemates had to come in to see what the fuss was about. I just cackled like a mad man at them and at my room. Things have definitely got better since then. I'm glad the same seems to have happened for you! Keep posting - always so happy to see new posts!

enigm2118 said...

Thank you.

DangerInPurple said...

Great post, very honest.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU for giving this a voice. It's an awful, awful thing but it was actually encouraging to read about someone else's struggle...does that sound incredibly creepy? Didn't mean it that way, but your corn moment was so relatable. Anyhoo...SO glad you're back!

Shannon Larkin said...

That was one of the most accurate representations of severe depression I've ever read. I think every depressed and formerly depressed person is now standing and clapping wildly because you get it.

I'm so grateful that you've tipped over into finding corn funny, and now care enough to write about it. Welcome back.

Alissia Blackwood said...

You have an amazing way of beautifully illustrating things that everyone feels but hardly anyone can express. Glad you're back, Allie :)

amy said...

I like this post. As someone who is a high-functioning autistic person, feelings and depression go hand in hand. I think you did a good job in describing just what really happens. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Allie, I've been where you are. I'm very sorry you're going through this. All I can say is that it might get better, even if that seems impossible. As we both know, it also might not. But it might. And I hope it does.

Sarah said...

That was amazing. :3 I'm still in the first half right up to the point of living because everyone else in my life is emotionally attached to me.

And this...this was an amazing post. And the happy note it ended on is also amazing. You're a strong person and you're wonderful for telling your tale.

Christina Bryant said...

I'm so glad that you posted this, and not just for it's dark humor, but for your brutal honesty that made me realize - I'm one of those annoying hopeful people pep talking the depressed, ignoring the reality of their situation. And I do this to people I care about. So going forward, I'm going to try to just listen, and acknowledge where they are at. It also made me better understand why anger and crying (not sadness) might come before joy. So thank you.

Caleb Wimble said...

On behalf of the human race, Allie, thank you so much for finding the strength to keep on keeping on. You make the world a better place by being.

Anonymous said...

Stay with us Allie. I need you.

--Jesslyn. said...

I've missed you terribly, but having been through a similar thing, I understand and no hard feelings. All is forgiven. Try to keep writing. It makes me happy and it's important to hold onto anything that make you happy. Like that corn. Preserve it. love you.

Rose London said...

Genius post. Wonderful. As a person who has suffered from depression & also a licensed therapist, you hit the nail on the head. Keep writing!

Anonymous said...

Brava on such a brave piece. So glad to see you back!

Vicky

Anonymous said...

Welcome back! Been there - no one gets it.

Kristina Burkey said...

My favorite picture is you hating the person on your sofa and the sweatshirt death-glare. Perfect. I died laughing in my cube. Glad to "see you". Was worried.

Parakeet said...

Thank you for sharing with us. You made me smile and cry at the same time. I'm glad you are here!

Schneekuh said...

You rock.

Also: a single tiny piece of corn? Isn't that a... uni-corn or something?

Misty said...

Well here's hoping that there is more corn in your future. Much love.

Alicia Nesbitt said...

I feel like we should be best friends because I feel this way all the time. Medication rocks, though, eh? <3

Teri H. said...

Oh Allie. I was bawling and giggling all at the same time. This is EXACTLY what I went through a year and a half ago. All that positive thinking crap used to PISS ME OFF so much, but now, it actually helps me. It is so much about perspective, which, when you're depressed, does not function.

The corn thing - I actually get why that's funny. Why just one piece of corn? Where are all the other crumbs and kernels? It's like there's some sort of serendipitous reason; there's just that one piece of corn mocking a bare floor, like that. Rebel corn. Ha ha. Bad ass corn kernel. That's funny.

Nidonemo said...

So happy to see you again, beautiful! I knew that you'd come back!! I'm so happy you're here!

Anonymous said...

This kind of makes me feel like crying because its weird to come across somebody who explains how you feel so well when nobody else understands how you can feel so bad and not know why.
Thanks though ^.^ haha

Anonymous said...

I know you couldn't possibly read the five billion trillion comments you're going to get but I just want to say thanks. Your post helps me keep looking for my cloorn.

Moldy Orange said...

The coffee shop picture is quite possibly the most brilliant of your brilliance. I think everyone has felt like that at one point. This is a fantastic post and I'm glad you're on the road back.

AV said...

I've been following your work for a long time, with glee and sympathy, but without much real understanding. When my 19-yr-old ended up in psych emergency this year with severe depression, I did all the wrong things. It doesn't seem like there is a right thing to do, though. But this post is the most illuminating thing I've read about depression. Thank you.

Stacy Hall said...

I can't express how glad I am to see you posting again. When the depression takes away everything that makes you want to be alive it feels like the hardest to do things are the ones you used to love so much. You are an AMAZING person so don't listen to your lying brain when it tells you other wise. I know I'm a part of the faceless masses, but I want you to know that you are loved, and you've been sorely missed. And I've honestly been worried about you. Thank you for sharing what you've been going through. I know from personal experience that it's not easy to talk about what you've shared here. And I'm glad you didn't succumb to a "happy accident"* that would make you dead.

*"happy accident" is what my therapists call passive suicidal actions/thoughts

Marcia said...

Yup.

Bee Stew said...

Thank you for sharing this. Makes perfect sense why the 'not real post' was needed yesterday. I think many people try to ignore the dead fish because they don't like admitting that sometimes fish die.

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